Karen Miller, the Deaf Ministries Coordinator at Grace Church,
works as our connection to the deaf community in Delaware, Pennsylvania
and Maryland. She serves as a liaison for those seeking assistance,
visitation, counseling, interpreters, and transportation. She has proven
invaluable to our deaf neighbors trying to deal with everything from
doctor's appointments to taxes, to finding connections through Bible
studies, scrap booking, line dancing and more.
Karen truly embodies the spirit of The United Methodist Church's
goals to "open hearts, minds, and doors"--for both hearing and deaf
children of God. We are blessed to have her sharing her gifts through
"God gave me this ministry because he knows I can work both worlds, [both the] Hearing and Deaf world. I thank God everyday." -Karen Miller
Activities of Deaf Ministry for 2016
Worship — interpreted once a month, usually on
the third Sunday,
Approximately 6 each service for a
total of 12 people
Planning to have a "pull-out
" service on the third Sunday with a separate Deaf Bible Study and worship
at 10 am then rejoining the full Grace church community for Communion Bible Study — monthly
all-Deaf taught in ASL approximately 25 people
Outreach — Case management and advocacy and
mentoring by Carol Stevens. Karen works 1-2 days a week to meet the spiritual,
Social and everyday needs of the Deaf Community. —New Deaf Fellowship meets
monthly for fun and education and opportunities to be in Deaf Community. Between 30 -50 each monthly.
Karen continues to assume leadership
roles in the Deaf Community as chair for the Delaware School for the Deaf
Reunion, attending meetings in the Deaf community, hosting and providing
Christian hospitality for Deaf community events at Grace to encourage Deaf
people. Pastoral care to the Deaf community.
Karen and Carol have both become
Certified Lay Ministers. Karen is the first culturally Deaf Cl.-M is the world. 4 Deaf people from
Grace attended the Northeast Jurisdiction
meeting to learn about the workings of the Church and increase awareness of Deaf
ministry in NEJ.
re-elected president of NEJ Deaf Ministries
Carol awarded the 2nd national
Excellence in Deaf Evangelism and Mission from UMC.
Carol-Vice Chair of UM-Deaf and Hard of
to the United Methodist Congress of the Deaf (UMCD)
-Karen —Lay member to
Advocacy and community
have form a group to strive to get group homes for vulnerable Deaf people with
special needs and Deaf-blind people in Delaware. They are currently house with
all hearing clients and hearing staff none of whom know sign language to
communicate with them.
—Constant advocacy and
oversight to assure that Deaf people receive services.
— Hosting workshops and
Deaf meetings at Grace to increase visibility and to show
Training and empowerment
—6 Deaf people attended
NEJ events and were exposed to the larger Church and the Church exposed to Deaf
Ministry —Karen and Carol attended Path 1 training for interns. Karen took 2 week Deaf pilgrimage to Holy
Land. — Karen attended 4-day Deaf
ministry training given by Deaf Missions.
-Carol with the
blessing of the CLM national leaders, is developing for the UM-DHM training for
Deaf Lay people for Certified Lay Servant and Certified Lay Minister Training.
There has never been appropriate training in the past.
meeting with volunteer interpreters
Has grown from weekly
to twice a week.
International Deaf Ministry Mission
was led by Carol. Team consisted of 1 1 hearing and Deaf people who went back
again for 3 weeks to Zimbabwe and Kenya to help our partners as they develop
Deaf Ministry and improve Deaf education and services with Deaf people.
Camp for Deaf Adults
with Special Needs at Camp Pecometh for 36 campers and their staff (total 70)
All Deaf with additional severe disabilities. For some of the campers who live
in hearing group homes it is the only week of the year that
they have anyone with whom to communicate. The best week of the year!
These are some
of the blessings of Deaf ministry in the Deaf community. We are grateful to God
and to Grace church for the love and support that make it possible for us to
minister with Deaf people, the largest unchurched group in the US.
Miller and Carol/ Stevens